22 December 2008

Home Theater Design

When I go off work and go home, the first thing I do is sitting down on the sofa and turning on TV in the living room. So the background wall of tv is important for a house. Some like hanging tv on the wall, while others like put TV on the TV cabinet.No matter how you put your TV, the adornments should cohere with the basic design.

Home Theater Inspiration is a new collection of inspirational pictures for those who want a home thearer in their home. Either way, the home theater is becoming increasingly popular. Equipped with the latest digital video and surround-sound audio technology, home theaters can transport you to another world without your ever having to leave the house. So this is the first set of home theater inpiration pictures.

18 December 2008

Paint Your Home

Color like a out wear of a house,a bright color let you feel young and dynamic, while a dark color make you calm and reasoned. People who paint their house according to their age, disposition,favor and so on.Here are some tips for home color decoration:

1.Chosen paint colors may look different in different lights, at daytime and at night. So, you may want to access the look of the room in different lights and according to the function of the room.

2.Colors can look darker or lighter over a large area depending on the colors of the surroundings and lighting in the room, so keep that in mind while choosing the right tint or shade of the color.

3.Dark and warm shades make rooms look smaller such as red, orange, yellow and even dark shades of navy blue while light and cool colors make the room look larger and more spacious such as light shades of blue, green and even violet. Best colors for small rooms are white and light and pale neutral colors.

4.For an open, spacious and airy look in a room with chair rails, paint the portion below the chair rail in a dark shade and the wall above it in a light shade.

Generally, ceilings are painted in pure white, off white and tinted white colors to make them appear high and make the room look open but if ceilings are high enough, one can use medium to dark colors to make the room look cozier as they tend to make the ceiling advance to the eyes of the viewer.

5.Since colors affect the mood, choose relaxing muted colors for bedrooms and stimulating colors for kitchen and dining room.

6.Taking furniture, window treatments and accessories of the room into consideration, determine the color scheme of the room.

7.Flooring color:From a sales perspective, neutral coloring flooring can add value to your home and make it seem more homely to prospective buyers. It is important also to consider the style: does the wood-grain finish correspond with other design features, or should you go for a fully colored laminate flooring?

Neutral colors (such as white, taupe and beige) give you a beautiful canvas to work upon when it comes to home décor. Limited use of colors and patterns help you to create a sophisticated environment along with interesting focal points in rooms, garden and living area. Natural fibers are available in these colors too and have quite different textures for experimenting. The variety of texture in neutral natural colors infuses peace and calm in the home environment.

16 December 2008

Shower Enclosure, A Elegant and Useful Bathroom Accessories

When you design or renovate your bathroom you will want to add both saleability and desirability to your home while creating your own personalised bathroom retreat.

Shower Enclosures are the perfect embellishment for any bathroom. Shower Enclosures, not only make look bathrooms elegant, they are also one of the most useful accessories in a modern bathroom. Buying a shower enclosure is however, a tedious job particularly, if you are not sure what to look out for. It is something, which you would go for a replacement, perhaps in a decade. So, first make your choice on the quality of the glass, colour, texture, clarity and of course, your preferred Brand.

Modern bathrooms boast of bathroom shower stalls made up of durable material instead of or in addition to a bathtub. The materials range from tempered glass to acrylic fiberglass. Standard bathroom shower stalls are usually 3' x 3' but can be customized according to your bathroom size and choice and can even accommodate a sit down bench in the shower stall. Glass block or bathroom shower stall made from molded or etched glass is one of the bathroom renovation options that are easy to install and give an instant facelift to your regular bathroom.

A solid shower door or bathroom shower curtains in bold colors and patterns can add a personal touch to your bath space. For smaller bathrooms, choose a clear glass shower door or a shower curtain that can be pulled back, when shower is not in use and add space to the bath. Classic or custom shower curtain rods look elite. While folding doors look elegant but may take too much space in a small bathroom. In ancient Greece, there were pull cord showers with only cold water supply. In 80s, new technology saw an upsurge in the bathroom remodeling industry and the shower and bath sales saw a sharp rise.

The leading edge designs with walk-in showers rapidly replacing the typical bathroom showers make bathroom accessories easy to match with their polished chrome frame.Walk-In Showers are typically cumbersome free-standing units which come supplied with a specially designed shower tray which features a drying area and large shower section. While these Walk-In Showers might have an open access they certainly are minimal or chic.That is where Wet Room Walk In Shower Screens come into play. The latest Walk In shower trend, these contemporary and minimal shower screens are becoming more and more popular, especially in small bathrooms where space is a premium.

14 December 2008

Choosing Bedroom Flooring

Bedroom is a private space for host relaxation and rest, the flooring is the important factor for the bedroom.The most important consideration while making the choice of the right type of flooring is the look and comfort. Here, it becomes of prime importance to ensure that the kind of flooring you are planning to go in for is not just attractive, but useful also. Just going by the look won't suffice your purpose. So, it is vital to apply your analytical skills and judge as to which option is the best for your bedroom.

If you do not have much time to take care of your floors, then go in for such floorings that don't require much of maintenance and are durable. It is always a good practice to do your part of homework about the flooring type you are planning to shop for. Your budget is also to be considered, because that will act as a major deciding factor. If your bedroom experiences high trafficking, then it is preferable to go in for laminate flooring.

My personal favourite for a bedroom (any room in fact) is laminate flooring. It is practical, clean, isn't too hard to lay, lasts for years and isn't that expensive. With laminate flooring you can change the colour of your walls as many times as you like without having to buy a new carpet to match. All good DIY stores sell laminate flooring. Checkout Home Base they have a wide range to choose from

Bedroom floors can also be carpeted. Carpeting is available in many different colors, patterns and different length loops or pile. You can find the carpet that feels the best under your feet and appeals to your senses most. Whether you choose a throw rug or wall-to-wall carpeting, take your shoes off and see what it feels like on your bare feet. Your feet will be feeling this carpeting on those cold mornings when you roll out of your nice warm bed.

Whichever bedroom flooring you choose, make sure that it makes you feel good. Don't choose flooring based on what others are doing, but choose the flooring for your bedroom based on what makes you feel warm and secure. Wood flooring, natural stone tile flooring, and carpeting are all great choices for any room, but research all of your options to see which one is best for your bedroom. Then you will have made a choice that will make your bedroom into the sanctuary that it should be!

10 December 2008

Home Decoration Trends

Comfortable, energy-saving, environmentally friendly are the trends of home decoration.More than ever, interior decorating and design ideas offer boundless choices and endless possibilities. In fact, styles have never been so varied and exciting – so much so that expressing your personality and tastes through interior decorating is limited only by your imagination. These days, nearly everything goes! You can mix styles, colours, decor periods and inspirations, or blend the affordable with the luxurious, contemporary with antique, and classical with new.

Admittedly, while the newest styles are all about variety and eclecticism, certain strong trends prevail that will guide our decorating choices this year.

The latest trends also influence the colour palettes that will dominate interior spaces this year. Romanticism is back with soft, refined and ash-toned colours, like old rose and lavender. On the neutral side, greys are definitely popular, while beiges, browns and tans draw their inspiration primarily from nature, taking on accents of earth, minerals and stone. The black and white combo has made a strong comeback, playing up the romanticism card, but with a clearly more contemporary look.

The colour of the year? Avocado green, brilliantly paired with red, coral or a very dark brown. Darker tones like blue-black, violet and saturated greys give our interiors that glamorous look. You’ve picked out your colours? Remember to get all the right tools and prepare your walls carefully before painting. You’ll be sure to get a fabulous finish that’ll be worth all the effort you invested!

On the decorating side, nothing is left to chance. With 9’ ceilings as the new standard, the options are never-ending. It’s all about relief; the added height is perfect for incorporating eye-catching designs using mouldings, coves, coffers and textured tiles. As for curtains, they’re installed higher up, near the ceiling, giving windows an imposing look.

Mirrors, frames, vases: nothing beats the use of accessories when it comes to updating our decor. They bring that personal touch that makes all the difference and can also create a new look in no time. And to shine the spotlight on all the winning elements of our new decor and create a special ambience, a well-thought-out lighting system is second

A growing concern for the environmental means we’re looking for more energy-efficient building materials.Insulating panels are becoming the norm in home construction, in outer walls as well as in ceilings and under floors. These floors such as laminate flooring, panels which made of polystyrene foam sandwiched between wood boards, are easy to assemble and offer excellent energy efficiency.

Wallpaper makes a comeback
Wallpaper is not in the least outdated—in fact, it’s making a fashionable comeback. More than ever before, wallpaper allows us to express our own personal style, decorating walls to create effects that paint just cannot match.

Until recently, wallpaper’s main purpose has been to make a room look more attractive, but today, no doubt due to its versatility, it’s fast becoming a key element in interior decorating. Today’s wallpapers come in an infinite range of colours, prints and textures, offering endless decorating possibilities.

09 December 2008

The Style of Home Decoration

The themem of home decor keep changing with times, as do the facilities and appliances used in the home. It plays quiet an important role in almost all of the decorating decisions.

The decoration style preferred by a person usually depends on individual taste, age and color combinations. While most prefer to decorate their homes in contemporary style, traditional styles bring back nostalgic memories to many. There are some others who feel that country and rustic style home put us closer to nature.

The country style of home decorating remains popular because the suggestion of rural life can seem to offer simplicity and a refuge from urban pressures. Country-style decorating can draw its inspiration from French, English, Swedish, American, and other cultural influences. However, pieces from different periods and traditions can be blended in one home as long as comfort is the principle ingredient. No country-style room should be too studied, for it is meant to be lived in. The beauty of country-style decorating is that you may have inherited some great heirlooms that can give you the impetus to start a collection of appropriate pieces. You may have a flair for picking up great flea-market bargains or for crafting quality items that can be incorporated into your scheme.

Traditional style interiors are comforting and classic. There is nothing wild or chaotic in a traditional room. It is calm, orderly, and can be somewhat predictable.Furnishings might look a bit outdated to some, while others will enjoy an interior that embraces the benefits of classic styling.

Contemporary style:simple and sleek with an emphasis on artistic and architectural details in its home décor, Contemporary style has become more comfortable and attainable in recent years. Once considered stark and cold, modern home décor has evolved into a more desirable balance of clean lines, warm tones and bold accents—creating a look that is fresh, functional and in-tune with today's lifestyle. And with more designers and stores featuring Contemporary fabric patterns, furniture, and accents, it's easier than ever to bring this style to your home décor. These quick and easy tips should help you get started:

• Accent-uate: Choose a bold color, like fuchsia or teal, and use it subtly throughout a room. Purchase a few select accessories--such as canvas pillows, cotton lampshades or organdy placemats--in that color, or consider painting one "accent wall."

• Less is more: An appreciation of clean lines is central to Contemporary sensibility. Eliminate any excess in your home décor, whether it's the dust ruffle from your bed, an overabundance of pillows on the couch, or elaborate valances and swags from the windows, try translucent organdy or flax cotton panels that emphasize the window's form rather than mask it.

• Double duty: Everyone's multitasking these days, and furniture is no exception. Maintain that uncluttered, modern feel with fewer pieces that work for multiple purposes. A large twill ottoman placed in the center of the room can work as a footrest, seating, or a coffee table. Move a bookcase or sofa away from the wall to act as a room divider. Look at the pieces you have and get creative!

• Picture this: Modern home decor favors artwork that is larger in scale. Frame an oversized movie poster (vintage classic or older movies work best), or hang a grouping of black and white photographs or striking fabrics close together to create one large, eye-catching composition.

No matter what, design your home follow your own mind. The style you like is the best!

08 December 2008

Design Your Home by Yourself

Design your home by yourself! Is it difficult or incredible?I will show some tips, maybe it is useful for you. It is you who add the character the personality to your home that serves as an extension of your own self, your family and your culture. It is you who add that personal touch that makes the house your own home, which puts you at ease in an instant and has an intimacy that makes you feel completely relaxed.

Bathroom Design
Bathrooms don't have to be cold and sterile and function driven. They can be extensions of your bedroom or other rooms in your home. Make your bathroom comfortable and cozy and treat it like you would any other room. Decorate the walls with mosaic tile and accessories. Use lush towels and linens to create a sense of luxury. Turn your bathroom into a special retreat where you can soak in your tub, read and forget about the stresses of your day.

Bedroom Design
The bedroom is not just a place for sleeping any longer, it's a place to unwind, relax and just getaway. Whether you're bedroom is large or small, make it your space. Personalize your bedroom with your favorite colors, textures and accessories. It doesn't have to be extravagant or expensive to be beautiful and relaxing space.

In this section, we have tried to put together various bedroom ideas as suggestions for style, color, textures and accessories. Choose a suitable floor is imprtant for bedroom. Remember, these are only ideas to get your juices flowing. We hope you enjoy.

Children's Room
Whimsy and creativity are always important when it comes to decorating a nursery or child's room. A baby's room no longer has to be pink or blue with balloons and clowns. Nursery's can be decorated in themes, like Classic Pooh, or coordinating fabrics like toiles and ginghams.

In a nursery, storage and function are important, but that doesn't mean style has to be sacrificed. In a child's room, it's important to remember the child. Find out what your child loves and cherishes. Space is always important for playtime and afterwards, storage is a must.

After searching the net, we've tried to put together a gallery of ideas that we hope will help you in your decorating needs.

Kitchen Decorating
The kitchen just might be one of the most important rooms in your house. It's where family and friends gather for good food and good times. Secrets are shared and laughter is heard.

Whether you love to cook or not, your kitchen should be about entertaining and enjoyment. Once you find your decorating style, your kitchen will become yours.

More importantly, you don't have to have a lot of money to make your kitchen spectacular. Creativity and paint can go a long way and we hope our articles and ideas will help you create the kitchen of your dreams.

Garden and Patio Decorating
Do you look at your yard and wish it were something more than an empty space? Why not create an outdoor living space where you can step out to relax or entertain friends?

You don't have to be an expert gardener or landscape designer. Take a look at some of our garden/patio designs for simple ideas to create a fabulous outdoor living space.

Living Room
This section is dedicated to any space you consider your living space, whether it be your living room, den or even kitchen.

Your living space should not only reflect your personal style, but be comfortable and inviting as well.

You don't have to have a large space or lots of money to get the look that you want and having children doesn't mean sacrificing your style. Your living space should be a space that everyone can live in and enjoy.

Colors of walls, fabrics, furniture, linen, pillows, shelves and curtains and type of furniture, beds, sofas and seating arrangements and even accessories, lamps and vases that you use must also confirm with your room or home decor theme.

04 December 2008

Bathroom Tile Design

Today bathrooms are bright and nicely decorated places that reflect the ambience or the mood of the rest of the house. While some people nowadays spend fortune in the construction of their bathroom, you can just opt experimenting with bathroom tiles to get an amazing result.

As far as selecting bathroom shower tile is concerned, there are many different options open to you. For instance, you can select from glazed ceramic tilesmosaic tiles, natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles, quarry tiles or terracotta tiles. Make sure that the particular tile you have chosen for your bathroom fits your budget. Second, also do remember to ask the dealer about the maintenance required for the variety. Pick the bathroom shower tile that you think will go with the design scheme you have in mind.

Here are bathroom tile ideas for bathroom floor tile:
1 - If you use solid color ceramic bathroom floor tile in your bathroom, you can add tile borders of a different color to the tile floor, or you can create a border by alternating different colors. This kind of visual treatment can create a more interesting bathroom floor.

2 - When using the same color ceramic tile for the floors and walls, choose a different tile size for the walls or lay the wall tiles diagonally to create a more interesting visual effect.

3 - Another of the bathroom tile ideas is to choose a grout color that contrasts with the ceramic tile color. For example, if you are using white tiles, you could use blue, red or yellow grout for contrast. Be sure and apply sealers to grout lines in areas of heavy wear since sealers will protect and preserve grout colors.

4 - If your favorite color for a bathroom is pink, for example, add a few pink decorative tiles for the walls or use shapes, textures and borders to give it some visual interest. Select some rows of the walls where you can also use some of the pink tiles placed diagonally.

5 - To give your bathroom a contemporary style and look, consider using bright and bold colors with shapes or graphics against plain backgrounds. Contemporary style accessories and fixtures will further provide a modern-looking bathroom.

6 - If you are trying to have a romantic or Victorian look in your bathroom, use floral tiles in soft colors like pink, light green or light blue plus handpainted ceramic sinks and perhaps a wooden floor.

7 - For a Mediterranean bathroom look, mix terra-cotta tiles with Mexican or other hand-painted tiles for the floors. For the countertop perhaps mix the hand-painted tiles with another plain color tile.

You can do the project yourself or you can hire a professional. Keep in mind, though, that bathroom tiling requires some expertise. When laying them out, it requires precision and patience. If you have some money left, just leave them to the pros.

Otherwise, a bathroom tile design can bring out the best of your project. There are many ideas that you can glean from the internet. A few clicks and you can get your desired information and additional designs.

02 December 2008

LED Color Changing Faucet

Do you have seen a kind of basin faucet or shower faucet which can change color when flowing. I think it is interesting and attractive to install it in you house.

A number of faucets have been designed to change from blue to red as the temperature of the water increases. They simply use some sort of temperature sensor and a LED light, but can be very helpful in warning of a potential burn situation.

This is the coolest and most modern water faucet I have ever seen. Not only does this faucet have a very sleek design, the color of the water changes as the temperature of the water changes to warn you of very hot or very cold water. This is the World’s First Color Changing LED faucet, and though it is not in stores yet, this is yet another upgrade to make on my home improvement list. As one may expect, the water is blue when cold and red when hot with various shades of orange, yellow, and light blue in between.

01 December 2008

Is your wash basin distinctive?

Most people go in for personality in modern times.Do you want your wash basin in the bathroom looks like in most families. So, you lost your personality in home decor.People who go to your house have no fresh feeling with your home.

Why not to choose a special wash basin for your house? It is not diffcult for anyone as long as some patience. Today, I will share some beautiful and special wash basin with you, and hope that these style may give you some inspiration.

Gone are the days when sinks were ruled by right angles and flat surfaces. Today it’s a more natural, water-weathered look that designers seek to evoke. The surface of the Kanera E 1 itself looks liquid, a scoop of modern material (ceramic) that holds water just like a seaside rock pool - and thankfully deep enough under the faucet to prevent any tidal surprises.

Where the previous sinks took inspiration from the effect of falling water on stone, the Origin Sink is more interested in the river itself. Lift a stone and the source gushes out and winds its way down to the end of its journey, a plughole capped by another stone. Sidestepping queries about just how snug-fitting those stones will have to be, it’s a relaxing change from the roaring torrent of most sink designs.

It’s a magic trick within a sink. Where does the water go? Wave your hand underneath to demonstrate the lack of plughole - but don’t let baffled onlookers too close, or they might see the water draining away horizontally into the wall. The “Horizontal Integrated Siphon” system is a neat and stylish way to hide the plumbing and put a sink into the narrowest of spaces. (And it’s a great party trick).

23 November 2008

What Type of Computer Desk is Right for You?

Your home office should be planned carefully,as the right equipment and office furniture will not only save you time and effort, but money, too. Your computer and other office supplies and learning goodsshould be placed on the furniture. When you depend on yourself for your income, any time you are not working to your full productivity, you are losing money. That is why most business owners need to pay special attention to their computer furniture, choosing the one that provides top performance.

First, there are three basic types of desks: the Downview Desk in which the monitor is actually mounted below the desktop surface and can be seen through glare-resistant glass or plexiglass; the Split-Level Desk in which the surface is split into different height-adjustable surfaces allowing the monitor to be positioned higher than the writing surface; and the Adjustable Table type ?the most common梚n which there is only one desktop surface, the monitor is positioned on this surface and all work is done on the surface as well. There are benefits to all three. The Downview Desk has recently gained popularity because the monitor is somewhat 'hidden' and doesn't clutter the top of the desk, allowing for the most efficient use of space. While still considered ergonomic, some users prefer tilting their heads up rather than down to see the screen. Downview desks are welcomed in classrooms and computer labs because it allows students to keep their eyes on the front of the classroom without having to lean around a monitor and therefore look easily from the instructor to their own monitors.

Downview Desks also give the appearance of a sleeker, cleaner environment. The Split-Level Desk is revered because it's perfectly ergonomic and allows for the most adjustment for comfort. All surfaces adjust to the user and these desks are ideal for people who are shorter or taller than the average user because they're entirely customizable.

The Adjustable Classroom Table is popular because with the fewest features, it's the most affordable and provides a basic, comfortable, height-adjustable desk that provides ergonomic support to the user without all the other bells and whistles.
Second, decide what size will comfortably fit in the space you have. Computer desks come in many sizes from single-user 30-inch widths, to multi-user 72-inch widths and nearly everything in between. Measure your space and then choose a desk slightly smaller (as in 2 ?3 inches smaller) so that the space doesn't appear too crowded.

Choosing the best room to situate a home office also depends on your type of home business. If your activities require daytime phone calls operating in the same time zone you can easily operate from the living or a dining room which tend to be quiet and empty during the day in most households. If your business needs more space for storage and additional working surfaces for mailing or labelling, you will be more comfortable in the den or basement. If you are working part-time in the evenings, a computer desk can be easily placed in the bedroom where you can work quietly while other family members occupy the living room watching TV or listening to music.

Finding the right place for your computer desk and a small home office does not have to ruin your budget or the style of your home. In fact, having a home office can be of great help to all family members bringing technology to any household.

19 November 2008

Eating With The Seasons

In Chinese medicine, the body is seen as a microcosm of the natural world, waxing and waning with the movements of the seasons. The Chinese dietary tradition focuses on eating foods that harmonize with the season one is in.

Autumn, for example, is a good time for loading up on warmer, heavier foods in preparation for the winter.

Beneficial warming foods include whole grains, cooked squashes and other root vegetables, nuts and seeds, and perhaps small amounts of lean meat.

When it's cool out, we need to add more fuel to the furnace.In winter, the focus is on storing up energy, rest and meditation. Strengthening, warming foods like soups and congees (porridge) are eaten, along with immune-enhancing Chinese herbs like astragalus (pron. a-strà-ga-lus).

In the spring, the cycle begins anew. Warming and building foods are replaced by cleansing and revitalizing foods like leafy greens and sprouts to help harmonize the body with this season of rejuvenation and growth. As summer begins, the diet might consist of melons and citrus fruits, leafy greens and cool liquids.

17 November 2008

How to Choose Your Shower Heads

If you are a person who loves life, you must pay attention to the decoration of your house, especially the bathroom. Most people telled to me that the Bathroom is the important part of decoration.Shower Head is one of the most important unit in a bathroom.

Once you understand the differences between showers you’ll be able to quickly decide which is the best type of shower for you.

The push on mixer shower is perfect for an older bathroom were there is no proper plumbing ran behind the wall to attach a shower and you have two separate taps for hot and cold.

The bath shower mixer is designed for a tub that has a single faucet and it’s also a great choice if you do not have the plumbing to attach a shower and don’t want the expense of remodeling.

A manual mixer is a shower where the shower head comes out of the wall in the traditional style shower with its own hot and cold water adjustment. With the manual mixer the hose and spray of the shower are attached to the wall unit and the hot and cold water supply are connected with a single valve so adjusting temperature is very easy. You will need to plumb the hot and cold water.

The thermostatic mixer is great if you want to set the temperature and have it maintained. The hose and shower head comes out of the wall in the traditional style shower connecting to a single valve that has a built in stabilizer that adjusts the water temperature based on your selection. Water usage within the house will no longer affect your shower. The stabilizer will ensure flow and temperature remain consistent. Be warned that this convenience is a tad bit expensive.

There are so many types to choose from. The best way to familiarize yourself with all your options is to do some online searching. Then you can decide the shower type and shower head type that’s perfect for you. The best shower type to choose is the one that you enjoy showering under.

What is the latest trend in shower heads? And no wonder, the current offering for modern showerheads can be overwhelming. The trend is that more and more consumers are into design and aesthetics versus functions only. And the new generations of shower heads are qualifying for both - they are beautiful and functional. What's left is to choose the right shower head depending on your desire.

Large shower heads like Dornbracht RainSky and Hansgrohe Raindance Rainmaker, the Rain type ceiling shower heads remain the most desirable. With the most water coverage, they produce different types of 'rain' while mixing water with air and light. These are the most luxury shower heads you can buy and, of course, the most expensive ones. This type of shower head is actually a very technologically advanced electronic balance module that controls large water flows and requires built-in installation.


11 November 2008

A Tidy Kithen Coutertop Brings Good Mood

If you come into a kitchen, the first place you noticed mostly is the kitchen countertop.If it is dirty and wild, you may be in bad mood and think the host is lazy and dingy.So,you need this area to look good so that when the guests come over, it is spotless. Yet, you also need to have a clean and stain free countertop to keep your food preparations safe. There are plenty of ways to stain a countertop. Some are harder to wash clean than others. Whether you thought of this or not when the countertop was installed is another story. Most types of countertops are easy to clean if you know how to do so.

Basic Daily Care
Dust and dirt etch countertop surfaces. Spills that sit for too long on many countertops can become very difficult to remove. For this reason, a daily routine for your countertops becomes very important. A dry wipe down with a soft clean cloth is all that is needed on a day when the counters haven't been used. If more extensive cleaning is needed, water and a soft cloth can do the trick for most routine cleaning. Be sure to check the instructions for your specific countertop type before proceeding to any other steps.

Wipe Up Spills When They Happen
Spills have the potential to stain and mark nearly every countertop surface. Porous stones that are in need of resealing will soak up spills, and discolor their surface. Laminate countertops can discolor from spills as well. And anything left on the surface of a stainless steel countertop creates the opportunity for damage. When a spill happens, right away is the time to take care of it. Removing spills immediately will protect your countertops in the long run.

Be wary of what extreme changes in temperature can do to your countertops. Many stone countertops on the market are resistant to heat damage, but can still be affected by temperature. Use trivets and potholders to protect your countertops from hot surfaces.

Related article:Choose The Suitable Kitchen Countertop

10 November 2008

Choose The Suitable Kitchen Countertop

Countertops are the most looked at for a kitchen-remodeling project to bring out the beauty and elegance of kitchen. Countertops can take a moderate looking kitchen and turn it to a kitchen out of a magazine or remodeling show.

The kitchen countertop has to be able to take a lot of abuse including the heat of pots, cutting and knives and abrasive cleansers. The ideal countertop should be able to stand up to heat and the sharp edge of a knife.

Countertop Choices
Granite is the traditional favorite kitchen counter top material for its unique colors and patterns, proven durability and lasting value.Granite is of course a natural stone that is heat, scratch and stain resistant and nearly impossible to damage with proper care and cleaning that is simple once you know how. Granite is a good choice for any project inside or outside including walls and floors.

Marble,Another natural stone, marble is considered to be the height of elegance and will last longer than most kitchens. It is however, is very expensive and requires some care: acidic foods such as orange juice will etch the finished surface of a marble kitchen countertop.

Solid surface counters are just what they're called, solid. Most scratches can be sanded out. The countertops are custom-made to your specifications by companies such as Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone. Visit our directory for links to these suppliers. The biggest advantage with solid surface counters is the range of colors and patterns… you just have to make sure you are careful with hot pains and everyday mishaps which can leave marks and/or stains.

Laminate counter tops are popular and affordable – popular trademarks Formica, Nevamar are house hold names. Laminate counters are made out of plastic coated synthetics with a smooth surface that is usually easy to clean. The pieces are cut to size and then installed and finished on the ends. The biggest advantage of laminate finishing is obviously its affordability and range of patterns and colors. It’s relatively durable and easy to replace if stained or damaged.

A contemporary and industrial can be achieved with a stainless steel counter. Stainless steel is extremely heat resistant and durable. This choice of countertop is usually constructed precisely to your specifications so you can expect a seamless finish. While they are easy to clean, they can also appear clinical, they are noisy, very expensive it’s difficult to modify the fabrication yourself.

Compare these different material coutertop and choose the suitable countertop that fit for you.

04 November 2008

Camping Tips

If you work for a long time and want to have a relaxing, tent camping is one of the most relaxing and exciting ways to escape from the busy days in the city. Through camping, the campers can feel more relieved and close to nature. Several campgrounds are offering tent camping programs for small groups such as families and officemates. If you are planning to have one with you group or kids be sure that you prepare your things and plan the activities for your tent camping adventure. The following tent camping tips can serve as your guide on your camping trip. These tips can be of great help to campers especially the first time campers.

The first thing that you have to consider before any purchase is the budget. Make sure that you have allocated enough to purchase a high quality tent. This will ensure that you get a durable tent without overspending.

In shopping for a tent you have to think of your needs. Think of where you usually camp and during what season, this will help you get the appropriate tent. Tents are usually made specifically for a particular season. Your need for summer camping is different from winter camping.

Make A List And Check It
Making lists is something that works not only for Santa, but for parents planning out a camping trip. This is one of the most important camping tips, since it’s pretty awful to get out to your campsite and find that you’ve missed something crucial. Take time well before your camping trip to make up a list of the items that you need and check off each item as you pack.

Plan Plenty Of Activities
Another one of the best camping tips for families is to bring along plenty of things to do. This not only includes items for hiking and swimming, but activities for around your campsite as well, such as cards. It’s best to have a number of different activities, since if the weather is bad, you’ll need something to do around camp, other than watch the rain.

Get Separate Tents
Another one of the camping tips for families is to get separate tents for the kids and parents, particularly if your children are older. As kids get into their teen years, their desire for privacy increases. While your teenagers might still enjoy a camping trip with everyone, they’ll still appreciate a chance to have their privacy when sleeping. By following this and these other basic camping tips for families, you’ll have a solid foundation for planning your own family trip to the outdoors.

03 November 2008

The Benefit of Green Tea

Much has been written and said about the amazing health benefits of tea. So much in fact, that it's often difficult to separate fact from fiction. What are the scientifically recognized benefits of tea?

Among the most widely held beliefs are the following:
Green Tea lowers the risk of cancer
Green Tea lowers the risk of stroke and heart diseases
Green Tea lowers blood pressure
Green Tea prevents tooth decay
Green Tea inhibits viruses

The ability of green tea to prevent cancer is so well established that new studies are testing green tea as a potential cancer therapy. Green tea may be especially protective against lung cancer in former and current cigarette smokers.Green tea has been shown to counteract both the initiation and promotion of carcinogenesis. Some studies have shown that green tea blocks the formation of certain tumors. If green tea's only benefit were to reduce the risk of cancer, it would be well worth taking as a beverage or supplement.

Green Tea Lowers Cholesterol and Thus, The Risk of Stroke and Heart Diseases.Green Tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels. The potent antioxidant effects of green tea inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries. It plays a major contributory role in the formation of atherosclerosis.

Green Tea blocks the effects of angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme secreted by the kidneys, which is a significant cause of hypertension. By blocking the effects of ACE, blood pressure is reduced significantly, and with it, the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It said the study raised the prospect of adding tea extracts to toothpaste and mouthwash to protect teeth. So the drinking tea can prevents tooth decay.

Green tea has been known to lower blood sugar levels. It can also kill certain bacterias and is effective against staph. Green tea inhibits several viruses including viral hepatitis. Green tea, via catechins and theaflavins and its gallates, have shown antibacterial properties.

The health benefits of green tea have been studied and enjoyed for years in Asian cultures such as China and Japan and now this information is much more widely available in the west. We can all now enjoy green tea health benefit and at the same time if we choose to actually drink the teas we can have a fun and interesting time trying different teas.

Related articles in my blog:Chinese Tea Culture in My Eyes

02 November 2008

A Special Chinese Food

Today, I want to indtroduce a special Chinese food-Stinky Tofu. I can imagine how sharp cheese tastes to someone who has never eaten it because it tastes rotten, in the literal sense of eating something that has gone bad.

Stinky tofu, which is actually a form of fermented tofu, is manufactured and prepared in a myriad of ways depending on the region where it is sold.

Same name, different food
Originated in ancient China, stinky tofu is made and consumed in different ways varied from China to the world, and the same is true of the two types of fried Stinky tofu in Changsha and Shaoxing, which are the most famous and classic in China. Stinky tofu out of Fire-fiend Palace representing this delicacy in Changsha, Mao Zedong and Zhu Rongji had been there and highly praised it, and the American journal “food” had coverage on the scene. Fire-fiend Palace selects excellent soybeans and makes them into bean curds, then mix with the prepared brine made from winter bamboo-shoots, black mushrooms and spirit that has been fermenting for about six months, eventually let it sit outside for several hours until it becomes putrid, moldy, and grey colored. Having a strong odor before cooking, it can be deep fried and served with hot sauce and pickled cabbage. Fried stinky tofu in Shaoxing is cut into bite-size cubes for cooking, marinating for six hours in summer and two days in winter with moldy peduncle. Then clean by the water, dry in the air, and pour into the cauldron. When it turns golden, it can be fished from the boiling cooking oil in the cauldron. The stinky tofu sold in Tianjin is mostly made in Nanjing style, with a mild aroma.

How it got the name
It was said that in Kangxi Emperor of Qing Dynasty, a scholar named Wang Zhihe failed in the imperial examination, and he idled in the inn, intending to go back home. However, he had no money back, so he determined to stay in the city and tried the exam again. It was a long term from the next exam, so he had no choice but to earn his life in the city. Born in a poor family, as his father opened a tofu shop in his hometown, he had begun to learn how to make tofu when he was young. Therefore, he rented a house to make bean curd by grinding soybean, then hawked along the street. In one summer, some remaining tofu that had not been sold out was going bad. When he was worried about the lost, an idea occurred to him. He cut the bean curd into pieces, found a jar and preserved by salting it. To his surprise, when he opened it several days later, a strong smell came out. He tasted it boldly, it was actually good. Since then, stinky tofu had been widely spread.

31 October 2008

Beijing Hutong Tours

If you have enough time, besides the "Five Places You Must Travel in Beijing", I advise that you should stroll Beijing hutong.Because that the real culture of Beijing is "the culture of hutong" and "the culture of courtyard". How true that is. Often, it is Beijing's winding hutongs that attract tourists from home and abroad rather than the high-rise buildings and large mansions.The word "hutong" is Mongolian in origin, meaning a "water well". In the old time with the digging of new wells, came the new communities. Later it was referred to as narrow streets or lanes formed by quadrangles.

Like streets, hutongs have their names. Some have had only one name since their establishment and others have had a few names throughout their history. Beijing was once a consumer city. A lot of hutong names are linked to the names of food. Some are connected to the names of the places, the temples, daily necessities, trades, light industry, plants, people's names and even government's organs.
Food names, such as Miancha Hutong ( noodle and tea )
Temples, Baoguosi Hutong ( Baoguo Temple )
Daily necessities, Caomao Hutong ( straw hat )
Place names, as Inner Xizhimen Hutong
Plants, such as Liushu Hutong (Liushu means willow)
Light industry, as Damuchang Hutong ( big wood factory )
People's names, as Songguniang Hutong ( Ms Liu )
Government organs, as Jingcha Hutong ( Police Bureau )

Among the numerous hutongs in Beijing, Beixinqiao Hutong has the most turns. There are more than 20 in which you can easily get lost. The narrowest is Qian Shi Hutong (Money Market Hutong), measuring about 30 to 40 meters (32 to 44 yards), located in Zhubao Shi Street outside the Front Gate. The narrowest part is merely 40 centimeters (16 inches) wide, so when two people meet, they must turn sideways to pass each other. The longest one is Dong Jiaomin Hutong, with a total length of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), lying between Chang'an Avenue and East Street and West Street of the Front Gate. The shortest one is Guantong Hutong measuring about 30 meters (33 yards).

When the new city of Yuan Dynasty was established, it is recorded that there were about 390 roads formed by the rows of quadrangles. Some of were called streets and lanes, and some "hutongs". There wre over 900 hutongs were listed in Qing Dynasty. The records increased to 1,330 by 1949. Now many of the old hutongs have been turned down and replaced by the high buildings and wide roads of today’s Beijing. Many citizens have to leave the narrow lanes where their families have lived there for generations, and residing in apartment buildings with modern facilities. However,some of Beijing’s ancient hutongs still survive, due to the local government's protection policy and people's request. Many have been listed as protected areas. So these ancient neighborhoods today provide a glimpse of the real life in the capital city as it has been for generations. Many hutongs are being restored and renovated.In Beijing, there are mainly two hutong areas well preserved - Shichahai area in Dongcheng District and Qianmen area in Xuanwu District. The hutongs in the area of the Bell Tower and Shichahai Lake are especially well preserved whch attract lots of tourists who travel the hutongs by pedicabs.

30 October 2008

About All Saint's Day

Oct 31th is Halloween, which origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

History of Halloween
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

Today's Traditions

One of the verses about the pumpkins reminded me about pumpkins being used as "Jack-O-Lanterns" on Halloween. October 31, Halloween Day is celebrated by carving face into a hollow pumpkin, and placing a lighted candle in it at night for all to see outside by the front door of everyone's house. Children dress up in costumes of all kinds and go from house to house where there is a pumpkin or porch light on, saying "Trick or Treat!" The idea is that children will be given a candy or other small treat, otherwise they might play a trick on the homeowner, although a real trick is not the modern-day custom.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Peking Duck

If you come to Beijing, the Peking Duck can not been missed.Among China's 1.3 billion people, there's one name that first comes to mind when the words "roast duck" are mentioned: Quanjude. Ask the Chinese what a visit to the nation's capital should involve and they will tell you that two things must be achieved: climb the Great Wall and eat a roast duck at Quanjude.

The first restaurant to bear the name Quanjude opened in 1864 during the reign of the Qing Emperor Tongzhi. Due to its high standards, the restaurant’s fame spread rapidly and for many years the supply of roast ducks could hardly satisfy the demand. For this reason, the restaurant was rebuilt and expanded in 1948. In 1954 a branch (known as Hongbinlou) was opened in West Chang?an Boulevard and another in Wangfujing Street in 1959. These additions, however, still did not solve the problem, and with the opening of the Quanjude at hepingmen in 1979, it was no longer necessary to make a reservation a week in advance to taste Beijing’s most famous culinary delight.

Dietary culture
While many have heard of "Peking Duck," few realize that the Quanjude restaurant has a menu list of over 400 dishes consisting entirely of duck. Of course there are the mainstays, like the famous Quanjude Roasted Duck, Quanjude Mustard Duck Web, Quanjude Boiled Duck Liver, Quanjude Seasoned Duck Gizzard, Quanjude Shredded Duck Wing, and Quanjude Quick Fried Duck Heart. But there are also pages and pages of more unusual duck selections. There's a duck dish for every body part: tongues, livers, skin, gizzards, breasts, and the appetizing duck-feet webs. Even the duck egg is included in the menu as a dish named "Crystal Duck."

With its long history, Quanjude roast duck enjoys a high reputation among domestic and overseas consumers for the peculiar roast technique and outstanding quality. It ranks the first not only in Chinese Famous Dishes, compiled by all-China famous chefs under the organization of Ministry of Commerce in 1958, but also in Elite of Chinese Famous Dishes, published by China and Japan in 1982. In many cases, Quanjude lists the first among famous restaurants.

28 October 2008

Five Places You Must Travel in Beijing

If you come to Beijing, and don't have enough time to travel all of the sight in Beijing, I advise that you must go to travel the five Places, or you may have a pity.

The first Place is Tiananmen Square.Located at the center of Beijing City is Tiananmen Square, where you can visit Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.Tiananmen Square is the geographical center of Beijing City. It is the largest city square in the world, occupying an area of 440,000 square meters (about 109 acres), and able to accommodate 10,000,000 people at one time. The square is a conglomeration of splendid and beautiful flowers and the red national flag which flutters in the wind.

The Second place is The Forbidden City.The Forbidden City, also named Palace Museum, is the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia. it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 rooms. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide.

The third place is the Great Wall.A Chinese saying goes that He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. The Great Wall, (Wanli Changcheng) literally means the Ten Thousand Mile Wall, is a great fortification in ancient China. The section at Badaling is the most famous of all due to its proximity to Beijing City and condition of restoration. The imposing Badaling Great Wall climbs up and down, twists and turns along the high mountain ridges. It fully shows the lofty quality of ancient Chinese labor people.Badaling Great Wall, with more than 1000 meters above sea level, occupies a commanding and strategic position. It is a defensive outpost of the Great Wall. It is called "Bada" as it stretches in all directions.

The fourth place is The Summer Palace.As its name implies, the Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by China's imperial rulers - as a retreat from the main imperial palace now known as the Palace Museum (or 'Forbidden City') - a pleasureground in the countryside, yet near to the city.The Summer Palace is virtually a museum of traditional Chinese gardening that uses rocks, plants, pavilions, ponds, cobble paths and other garden styles to create a poetic effect between different scenes. When you stroll around the Summer Palace, you will constantly find the area changing.

The fifth place is The Temple of Heaven.The Temple of Heaven in the southern part of Beijing is China's largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings. Occupying an area of 273 hectares, it is three times the area of the Forbidden City. It was built in 1420 for emperors to worship Heaven. The principle buildings include the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar.The Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest, 38 meters in height and 30 meters in diameter, stands on a round foundation built with three levels of marble stones. This towering triple-eave hall is under a three-story, cone-shaped glaze-tile roof in blue color crowned with a gilded knob. A circular wall of polished bricks known as the Echo Wall encloses the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The Circular Mount Altar, south to the Imperial Vault of Heaven, is where the emperor prayed to heaven. At the center lies a round stone called the Center of Heaven Stone that echoes when a visitor speaks loudly when standing on the stone.

Besides these place to travel, you should have a rest and taste the beijing cuisine.According to a Chinese saying, no visit to Beijing is complete if you miss seeing the Great Wall or dining on Roast Duck. As a famous and delicious food with very long history, Beijing Roast Duck is an excellent choice if you want to understand more about Chinese cuisine, culture and customs.

22 October 2008

Export-tax rebate rise set to boost industries

CHINA will raise export-tax rebates on textiles and garments from November 1 - the second increase in three months - to help struggling China industries plagued by weaker global demand.

Tax rebates on shipments of textiles and garments will be increased to 14 percent, the Ministry of Finance said in a Website statement yesterday.

China last lifted the rebates by 2 percentage points to 13 percent on August 1.

The ministry also said that the rebate on the exports of toys would be increased to 14 percent from 11 percent and the amount on furniture shipments would rise to 13 percent from 11 percent.

Rebates on exports of selected ceramic, plastics, mechanical, electrical and medicinal products will also be lifted by 1 to 2 percentage points, according to the finance ministry.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, said over the weekend that it would push forward policies to spur growth through measures including raising tax rebates for exporters and cutting some of the administrative fees involved in property transactions.

The moves were aimed at maintaining steady economic expansion and shielding the country from turmoil in the international markets, the government said.

China's economic growth was 9 percent in the third quarter, the slowest in five years.

China's exports of garments reached US$87.1 billion in the first nine months of this year, up 1.8 percent year on year, according to Customs data. The growth increase was 21.2 percentage points lower than a year before.

A rising yuan and increasing production costs have driven a lot of smaller Chinese toy producers out of business. A total of 3,631 toy exporters, or 52.7 percent of the industry's total, were closed in the first seven months, according to Customs.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said in September that the government would help labor-intensive exporters to overcome difficulties they were facing as global demand faltered.

Chen also encouraged them to be innovative by upgrading their products to meet challenges.

Despite the higher rebates, industry analysts said that Chinese textile and garment manufacturers would still face difficulties in coping with rising input and labor costs.

The initiatives may herald more stimulus policies by the government, such as measures to spur domestic demand and to offer credit support to firms facing a capital crunch, analysts said.

"The tax-rebate rises won't make a big impact on textile companies, but it reflected the government's determination to help the export sector," said Zhang Bing, a Sinolink Securities Co analyst.

"Giving some credit support and direct subsidies to those companies as the next step will likely achieve better results."


21 October 2008

SPA, A Fashion Relaxing Mode

Nowdays, the pressure of work make people tired both body and spirit. So, the modes of relaxing are welcomed by people such as Yoga, Spa etc.

Spas are carefully designed to provide you with the perfect hot water experience. Enjoy precious time with family and friends. Spend an intimate evening with someone close to you. Relieve aches and pains. Take pleasure in quiet solitude to rejuvenate your spirit. Or do all of the above as the mood strikes you. Soaking in hot water while enjoying the soothing hydro massaging jet action of a Clearwater Spa may mean different things to different people, but one thing will always remain the same: your Clearwater Spa will give you the best hot water experiences you will ever have.Now spas are available to the common man and they can get a spa installed outdoors. Outdoor spas are placed outside the house, either in the garden or in the courtyard. Fitness areas that consist of pools also can install these spa tubs adjacent to them. This can help people to experience the unique experience of spas right at their doorstep.

Feet First
Let your feet do the resting. A foot reflexology massage targets pressure points on the feet to relieve tension from head to toe.

Saving Face
You only have one face, so treat it beautifully. Aviva offer facials designed specifically for ladies and men.There is a wide range of facial treatments to choose, from the basic to the exquisite. Let our spa consultant recommends the right program for you, regardless of your sex, age or skin condition.

Skin Deep
Ensure deep skin cleansing with treatments like the MarineWeed Scrubs and MudWraps which involve skin brushing, gentle exfoliation, relaxing scalp massage and an application of warm algae, rich in minerals and enzymes. Helps reduce water retention, boost metabolism and eliminate toxins.

Body Bliss
Heighten bodily sensory responses with special oil treatments. Aviva offers the Botanis and Aromis Body Massage with specially blended essential and herbal oils, applied in a full-body aromatherapy massage.

Taking The Waters
Experience a hydrotherapy treatment in a tub and you will feel invigorated all over. For the first-timer, 15 minutes is all you need as the treatment really gets your blood circulation going. You can choose a Detoxifying with Mineral Salts, Energising Yang with Ginseng or Refreshing with Green Tea. This "taking the waters" spa ritual dated back to the Romans and has been updated since.

Flying High
Don’t let long-haul flights bring you down. Counter jet-lag quickly and effectively with our JetLag Reliever. This treatment promotes speedy recovery after air travel and includes a SkinRefresh Spa Facial and an invigorating Aromis Head & Shoulder Massage. We are just a few minutes away from Changi Airport by taxi.

16 October 2008

Chinese Eight Cuisines

China covers a large territory and has many nationalities, hence a variety of Chinese food with different but fantastic and mouthwatering flavor. Since China's local dishes have their own typical characteristics, generally, Chinese food can be roughly divided into eight regional cuisines, which has been widely accepted around. Certainly, there are many other local cuisines that are famous, such as Beijing Cuisine and Shanghai Cuisine.

Shandong Cuisine
Consisting of Jinan cuisine and Jiaodong cuisine, Shandong cuisine, clear, pure and not greasy, is characterized by its emphasis on aroma, freshness, crispness and tenderness. Shallot and garlic are usually used as seasonings so Shangdong dishes tastes pungent usually. Soups are given much emphasis in Shangdong dishes. Thin soup features clear and fresh while creamy soup looks thick and tastes strong. Jinan cuisine is adept at deep-frying, grilling, frying and stir-frying while Jiaodong division is famous for cooking seafood with fresh and light taste.

Shandong is the birthplace of many famous ancient scholars such as Confucious and Mencius. And much of Shandong cuisine's history is as old as Confucious himself, making it the oldest existing major cuisine in China. But don't expect to gain more wisdom from a fortune at a Shandong restaurant in the West since fortune s aren't even indigenous to China.

Shandong is a large peninsula surrounded by the sea to the East and the Yellow River meandering through the center. As a result, seafood is a major component of Shandong cuisine. Shandong's most famous dish is the Sweat and Sour Carp. A truly authentic Sweet and Sour Carp must come from the Yellow River. But with the current amount of pollution in the Yellow River, you would be better off if the carp was from elsewhere. Shandong dishes are mainly quick-fried, roasted, stir-fried or deep-fried. The dishes are mainly clear, fresh and fatty, perfect with Shandong's own famous beer, Qingdao Beer

Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan Cuisine, known often in the West as Szechuan Cuisine, is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Characterized by its spicy and pungent flavor, Sichuan cuisine, prolific of tastes, emphasizes on the use of chili. Pepper and prickly ash also never fail to accompany, producing typical exciting tastes. Besides, garlic, ginger and fermented soybean are also used in the cooking process. Wild vegetables and animals are usually chosen as ingredients, while frying, frying without oil, pickling and braising are applied as basic cooking techniques. It cannot be said that one who does not experience Sichuan food ever reaches China.

If you eat Sichuan cuisine and find it too bland, then you are probably not eating authentic Sichuan cuisine. Chili peppers and prickly ash are used in many dishes, giving it a distinctively spicy taste, called ma in Chinese. It often leaves a slight numb sensation in the mouth. However, most peppers were brought to China from the Americas in the 18th century so you can thank global trade for much of Sichuan cuisine's excellence. Sichuan hot pots are perhaps the most famous hotpots in the world, most notably the Yuan Yang (mandarin duck) Hotpot half spicy and half clear.

Guangdong Cuisine
Cantonese food originates from Guangdong, the southernmost province in China. The majority of overseas Chinese people are from Guangdong (Canton) so Cantonese is perhaps the most widely available Chinese regional cuisine outside of China.

Cantonese are known to have an adventurous palate, able to eat many different kinds of meats and vegetables. In fact, people in Northern China often say that Cantonese people will eat anything that flies except airplanes, anything that moves on the ground except trains, and anything that moves in the water except boats. This statement is far from the truth, but Cantonese food is easily one of the most diverse and richest cuisines in China. Many vegetables originate from other parts of the world. It doesn't use much spice, bringing out the natural flavor of the vegetables and meats.

Tasting clear, light, crisp and fresh, Guangdong cuisine, familiar to Westerners, usually chooses raptors and beasts to produce originative dishes. Its basic cooking techniques include roasting, stir-frying, sauteing, deep-frying, braising, stewing and steaming. Among them steaming and stir-frying are more commonly applied to preserve the natural flavor. Guangdong chefs also pay much attention to the artistic presentation of dishes.

Fujian Cuisine
Consisting of Fuzhou Cuisine, Quanzhou Cuisine and Xiamen Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine is distinguished for its choice seafood, beautiful color and magic taste of sweet, sour, salty and savory. The most distinct features are their "pickled taste".

Jiangsu Cuisine
Jiangsu Cuisine, also called Huaiyang Cuisine, is popular in the lower reach of the Yangtze River. Aquatics as the main ingredients, it stresses the freshness of materials. Its carving techniques are delicate, of which the melon carving technique is especially well known. Cooking techniques consist of stewing, braising, roasting, simmering, etc. The flavor of Huaiyang Cuisine is light, fresh and sweet and with delicate elegance. Jiangsu cuisine is well known for its careful selection of ingredients, its meticulous preparation methodology, and its not-too-spicy, not-too-bland taste. Since the seasons vary in climate considerably in Jiangsu, the cuisine also varies throughout the year. If the flavor is strong, it isn't too heavy; if light, not too bland.

Zhejiang Cuisine
Comprising local cuisines of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing, Zhejiang Cuisine, not greasy, wins its reputation for freshness, tenderness, softness, smoothness of its dishes with mellow fragrance. Hangzhou Cuisine is the most famous one among the three.

Hunan cuisine
Hunan cuisine consists of local Cuisines of Xiangjiang Region, Dongting Lake and Xiangxi coteau. It characterizes itself by thick and pungent flavor. Chili, pepper and shallot are usually necessaries in this division.

Anhui Cuisine
Anhui Cuisine chefs focus much more attention on the temperature in cooking and are good at braising and stewing. Often hams will be added to improve taste and sugar candy added

About Chinese Wedding Feast

It is ceremonious and busy of Chinese wedding. In the wedding day, the host will prepare abundant cate for the guests.The Wedding Feast is one of the main Wedding Costs in wedding. Certain types of Chinese food are commonly served at the Chinese wedding banquet, which include fish, roast suckling pig, pigeon, chicken cooked with red oil, lobster and desert bun with lotus seeds stuffed inside. The pronunciation of fish is the same as "abundance", meaning the newlyweds will have plentiful of wealth. Roast suckling pig is usually served whole, a symbol of the bride's purity (virginity). Pigeon implies peaceful future. Chicken also means phoenix, cooked in red oil to symbolize the wish for a prosperous life ahead for the newlyweds. Lobster is literally called "dragon shrimp" in Chinese. Having lobster and chicken together at wedding banquet indicates that the dragon and the phoenix are hormones together, and the Yin and Yang elements in this family is balanced.

Some of Chinese wedding banquet menu:
Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig
Braised Stuffed Whelk
Stir Fried Sliced Scallops & Prawns
Braised Shark’s Fin w/ Crab Meat
Braised Sliced Abalone
Deep Fried Crispy Whole Chicken
Stir Fried Lobsters in Supreme Soup
Steamed Whole Fish
Fried Rice w/ Shrimp & Pork
Braised E-Fu Noodles
Sweet Red Bean Cream w/ Lotus Seed
Fancy Cakes

Some of photos:

Barbecued Whole Suckling Pig

Deep Fried Crispy Whole Chicken

Steamed Whole Fish

14 October 2008

Have A BBQ

It is not too hot or too cold in Autumn, so, it is time to go out for a trip or have a picnic. Having a BBQ is a good idea at this season.Invite your friends, dirive your beloved car, take the delicious food with you, enjoy the sun of Autumn... Is it so comfortable and agreeable? don't hesitate, now, make a decision.

Prepare for BBQ
Before having your BBQ, you must buy the material of BBQ.

I suppose the obligatory foods would be sausages and burgers (try making your own with a twist!). You can have any type of chicken - maybe wings in a sticky marinade or some marinaded chicken breasts.

A lot of people love a steak cooked on the barbecue as well.
Seafood is also really nice. You can wrap some salmon fillets and cook them over the coals. Its really delicious.

If you are looking for vegetarian options (which you should cook first) then try some vegetable kebabs and vegetarian sausages. The fish will also probably go down a treat.

Set a table with some mixed salads, cous cous, dressings, bread rolls, sauces and a dew deserts. They'll love it!

BBQ tool
Any guy with serious grilling skills knows that the best BBQ depends on having the proper BBQ tools and equipment. Unfortunately, many backyard cookout chefs step up to the flames armed with little more than a fork and a spatula. Where's the fun in that?

One of the great benefits of owning a grill—gas or charcoal—is that it provides the perfect excuse to buy some really cool tools.

1. Fork
You gotta love the name of this cleverly designed barbecue fork that looks like a weapon from Braveheart. It has two long, stout tines—as any respectable BBQ fork should have—and a 13-in.-long hardwood handle. However, what makes this fork nasty (in a good way) is that protruding from each side of the main tines are two sharpened spikes designed for flipping over slabs of meat with just a twist of the wrist. This fork just might be the perfect gift for the carnivore in your life.

2. Dual Grill/Griddle Pan
This versatile grill-top accessory takes the frustration out of cooking small and delicate foods, such as vegetables, seafood and fruit, that have a tendency to fall through cooking grates. It's also useful for searing all cuts of meat. The split-personality pan has a solid, ridged griddle on one side (for steaks, chicken and fish) and a perforated grill (for shellfish and vegetables) on the other. It measures 12 by 16 in., and is finished with nonstick porcelain enamel for easy cleaning.

3.Deluxe Interchangeable Branding Set
Unlike any meat-branding BBQ tools I've ever seen, this kit comes with two branding irons and an entire alphabet of capital letters—plus an ampersand symbol—so you can personalize grilled meats for your guests. Simply clamp up to three letters into the branding iron, then set it over the grill. Once it's hot, press the iron against the cooked meat to brand it.

Besides those above, there are other tools you should prepare such as Barbecue Mitt.

12 October 2008

An Environment Friendly Floor Material

Choosing a new floor material is not as easy as it sounds—especially for a kitchen. The floor must look good, be low maintenance and stand the test of time.

Today's choices range from traditional hardwoods to laminate to stone to ceramic tile. But another popular choice among homeowners is bamboo.

Bamboo Flooring is certainly one of the upcoming materials in today's floor market. With many many advantages over traditional hardwood flooring it has certainly been a kind of shooting star amongst the different new floor types used. Amongst many its durability and hardness make bamboo very resistant.

With a very short rejuvenating cycle of about 5 years bamboo can be harvested much faster than most softwoods. Softwoods usually have a 20 to 30 year harvest cycle. But keep in mind that bamboo is better compared in a review to hardwood than any softwood or pine flooring.

Installing bamboo flooring over a wood sub-floor is no more difficult that installing other wood flooring, and many homeowners find self-installation to be a great way to save money. However, installation over concrete takes more skill and expertise, and may not be worth the money you'd save by installing it yourself. Before you begin the project, it's important to assess your capability and motivation to do the job yourself.

Once you've committed to installing your bamboo floor, make sure to order an additional 7-9 percent flooring to allow for waste and cuts. Also, carefully examine the bamboo flooring for consistent color, finish, quality, and damage before you begin. As with all projects, read and have a thorough understanding the manufacturer's installation instructions, policies and warranties because the time spent in these early stages can greatly improve the quality of your finished product.

The basic concepts for installing bamboo flooring are the same as for installing other hardwood flooring. The sub-floor must be flat, smooth, clean and preferably dry -- especially if installing onto a concrete surface (and you probably should consider laying a vapor barrier between the sub-floor and bamboo. Most bamboo floors are not covered under warranty if installed in a bathroom, washroom, saunas, or other similar wet locations -- but check with the manufacturer you want to choose to make sure. Remember, bamboo flooring is a natural product that will warp or swell with extended exposure to moisture, and shrink with extended exposure to heat.

09 October 2008

It's Time to Eat Crab

The best time to eat crab is Autumn, from September to November. Now, crab is selled in the market. How to choose the best crab that is delicious? How to cook crab?How to eat crab?

How to Buy Fresh Crab?
Never buy (or cook) a live crab unless it’s still alive and vigorous, with its limbs still moving. The best way to see whether a crab is still moving its limbs is to lift it—hold the crab by the rear end to avoid the its pincers, especially if it is large. Note that crab pincers, unlike lobster pincers, are seldom secured by rubber bands. If you’re uncomfortable about lifting the crab yourself, ask the person selling the crab to you to do it. If the crab’s legs hang slack when lifted, don’t buy it.

How to cook crab?
Crab is delicious cold or hot. It can be cooked whole and served as a main dish, or it can be bought cooked, canned, or frozen. From there, it can be prepared in any number of ways and used to make hors d’oeuvres, salads, sandwiches, soups, and omelets. It’s also tasty in sauces and pasta dishes. Crab can be used to replace shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish in most recipes.

Steaming is the traditional way of cooking blue crabs around Chesapeake Bay, the region with which they’re most closely associated. Other crabs can also be steamed.

Cook raw crabs by boiling - 20 minutes for crabs up to 1kg and 10 minutes per kg after that. Allow the crab to cool and then twist off the claws and legs. Knock the underside of the body on the chopping board and push your thumbs on the crab's back to prise the body section away from the shell. Remove and discard the stomach sac (just behind the mouth) and the soft gills (dead man's fingers) - these are readily identifiable and will come away easily. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the brown meat from inside the shell, not forgetting the crevices where the claws and legs join the body. Crack the legs and claws with a rolling pin or nutcracker and prise out the white meat using a skewer.

How to eat crab?
There are several steps for eating crabs:
1.Remove the crab’s legs and pincers by holding them at the base near the body of the crab and gently twisting them.
2.Once you’ve removed the legs, open them with a nutcracker or other heavy utensil to remove the flesh inside.
3.Unfold the tail from underneath the crab (it looks like a little tab tucked up against the crab’s underbelly), and twist it until it breaks off. Throw it away.
4.Remove the plastron (the underside) by putting your thumb against the edge of the shell at the spot where you twisted off the crab’s tail. Set aside the plastron once you’ve removed it.
5.Remove the flesh from inside the shell with a fork. Discard the entrails and appendix, which are located behind the mouth. Some recipes call for crab to be served in its own shell. If that’s the case, be careful not to damage the shell when removing it.
6.Cut the plastron in half with a kitchen knife. You may also be able to just break it in half using your hands.
7.Use a fork to remove the flesh from the alveoli (cavities) located within the plastron.

More Chinese food:http://www.mengheng.com